Mr Stink – Theatre Production
Bedtime stories are how we end each day as a family. After Freyja had worked her way through most of the Roald Dahl books, we started on David Walliams’ novels. Mr Stink is one that I read with Freyja. It is the story of a 12-year old girl who make friends with a tramp. The book is both sad and funny, and whilst most people will not have a tramp living in their garden shed, the themes of loneliness and being heard will resonate with the majority of readers.
Mr Stink has been adapted into both a 60-minute television film, and a stage production. Both girls have enjoyed the TV version of Mr Stink, and were very excited when we were invited to review Chickenshed’s stage adaptation at The Everyman Theatre in Cheltenham.
The girls haven’t been to a production at The Everyman before, and were so amazed by the auditorium. It was lovely watching them stare up at the painted ceiling and marvel at all the ornate decorations. It kept them entertained whilst we were waiting for the show to start.
The show stayed true to the book but with ten original songs added. The music and dancing from the cast added colour and energy to the show, and the “We Want Stink!” song is catchy enough that you will find yourself singing it to yourself for some time afterwards. Freyja really loves the book, but liked the additional songs, and it was nice to have added value to seeing the show, whilst staying true to the story.
The casting is very strong. 16 year old Lucy Mae Beacock does a wonderful job as Chloe and delivers her dialogue, songs and narration with maturity and confidence, conveying just the right level of emotion. The cast were all brilliant, but we all particularly loved Goutham Rohan’s Raj. Raj is such a brilliant character anyway, but Rohan nailed the loveable shopkeeper. Freyja’s favourite character in the show was Raj, and she was most amused by his constant attempts to sell a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle’s stationary set.
There is even a little bonus celebrity addition to the cast as broadcaster, presenter and journalist Jeremy Vine makes his professional acting debut as Sir David, the chair of a TV political programme, in a recorded video sequence.
Mr Stink is a 2 hour performance (including an interval) and there is a lot of spoken dialogue and narration, so I would suggest it is more suited to children who have started reading David Walliams’ books, rather than younger ones. Emily, who is 6 enjoyed it, despite not having read the book yet. She enjoyed the comedic aspects – Mr Stink having a bath in the garden pond, and the running joke about Mrs Crumb pronouncing her name as “Croooooom” to make herself sound more posh! And all of the children watching laughed at Mr Stink’s HUGE burp in the face of bully, Rosamund.
We all really enjoyed the show, and I will be looking out for future visits from Chickenshed Theatre to The Everyman. Both girls say they would tell their friends that they should go and see Mr Stink because “it is so funny!”
Mr Stink will be shown at The Everyman until 27th July 2019, with matinees at 1pm and evening performances at 6pm. There will also be a relaxed performance on Thursday 25th July at 1pm. Details of booking tickets can be found here. The rest of the 2019 UK tour venues and dates can be found here.
Disclaimer: We were provided with a family ticket to this performance, but as always, all thoughts and opinions are our own.